White House Correspondents -- Hear Them Roar!
By Connie Lawn January 12, 2017
Hard working White House correspondents are respectful of the new Administration, but we also intend to educate them and fight for our rights. About a hundred of us gathered for our annual meeting in a Washington law office on Thursday night, January 12. We are all concerned about the upcoming press arrangements under the Trump Administration. Can we keep our existing press credentials, if we have them? (Mine have been renewed every two years, since 1968! We believe this makes me the longest serving White House correspondent at this time, although the legendary Helen Thomas shattered all records). Other questions include the type of briefings, if we have them. Will they be public or private? Televised or print only? Will they be as controlled and managed as they were under the Obama Administration, with only a few favored reporters getting chosen? When selected, they asked long questions, and often received long, convoluted, repetitive answers. This leaves most other reporters out in the cold, although we do fill up the press room. For the record, I was told I had the laugh line of the night, when I said the last eight years had been very boring!
Other questions included assigned seats in the press room, and the future location of the press quarters (we are now in a prime location, above the old swimming pool but steps away from the lower and upper press offices and the powerful Oval Office). There was detailed discussion of the selection and workings of the pool reporters, who cover events when the entire press corps cannot get in. President Trump does not like to be followed all the time!
Jeffrey Mason, President of the White House Correspondents Association, led the discussion. He and other Board members recently met with the Trump press staff in New York. They had frank discussions. Hope we can give you some answers in the future! Connie Lawn, Washington DC